New Horizons for New Years!

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Atomic
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New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:17 am

The New Horizons spacecraft visited Pluto a while back, and will be arriving at it's next stop on New Years Day.

Info pages here.

The target is Ultima Thule, pictured here. Background info here.

Keep in mind the pictures we (hopefully) will be seeing will be imaged with only 0.05% of the sunlight available at earth!
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by TazManiac » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:34 pm

I'd seen this, and was pretty knocked out by the scale of things.

Plus I've been doing a Cosmological Deep Dive these past few weeks;
Astrophysics,

Sifting the wheat from the straw that is required when dealing with Neil Degrasse Tyson*'s effusive love of describing 'Science!' to the great unwashed,

and the really clear skies (offset by very high & circular rims encompassing) the 2nd Base Camp out in the Country (not really away from Civilization's Light Pollution), where you can crank out the Field Glasses, let alone the dedicated Telescope and get some really good, hands on, In Your Face, Viewing in.

* (Dude is under a cloud these days But- a: 'Until Proven Guilty' & b: There are many, many other Scientist out there, look around...) <-- gonna post a new thread w/ a recent find of mine...

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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:45 am

And it's happening now! Due to distance and slow transmission speeds, the first images should be in house and available for the press conference starting about 10:30 AM EST.

Linky: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Where-to-Watch.php
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:41 pm

Update as of this afternoon. Images also.

https://spacenews.com/new-horizons-comp ... ima-thule/
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Bookworm » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:36 pm

The best place for an observatory would be Antarctica. Solid rock to put the buildings upon, and no artificial lights for hundreds of miles. Not to mention being able to run 24/7 half the year.
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by TazManiac » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:01 am

I'm not so sure; Antarctica is still at the bottom of an ocean of air, it's hard to live there for the staff, and I wonder how much of the time would the sky be obscured by clouds?

If we are going to go big, lets set up something on the Moon's Far Side.

You still have to ship in stuff, but if given a deep enough hidy-hole to work from you could likely block enough cosmic rays, etc, and have a really dark sky to work with.

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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Bookworm » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:32 pm

TazManiac wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:01 am
I'm not so sure; Antarctica is still at the bottom of an ocean of air, it's hard to live there for the staff, and I wonder how much of the time would the sky be obscured by clouds?

If we are going to go big, lets set up something on the Moon's Far Side.

You still have to ship in stuff, but if given a deep enough hidy-hole to work from you could likely block enough cosmic rays, etc, and have a really dark sky to work with.
The benefit of Antarctica is that you can still breathe. It's cold, but that's easily surmountable with oxygen. Remember the distorted images from 'There's a hole in the ozone layer' theorists? Those false colour images made it look like a hole, but what it is, is simpler than that. It's where the atmosphere is half the thickness of at the Equator. Thus, much less distortion.

As for hard to live there for the staff? Well, it shouldn't require that much permanent staff at this point - we're pretty good at automating things in hostile environments now. Just look at the Mars Rovers. (I wonder why we haven't dropped an autonomous Lunar Rover. It'd be easier, and more useful at this point. )
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Warrl » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:26 pm

The benefit of Antarctica is that you can still breathe. It's cold, but that's easily surmountable with oxygen. Remember the distorted images from 'There's a hole in the ozone layer' theorists? Those false colour images made it look like a hole, but what it is, is simpler than that. It's where the atmosphere is half the thickness of at the Equator. Thus, much less distortion.
The thing that got me about the "hole in the ozone" stuff is that the FIRST time we looked at the atmosphere in the right way, there it was - then when they went into old data for the FIRST time we COULD HAVE looked at the atmosphere in the right way, there it was - so they concluded that it was brand new and human-caused.

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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:20 pm

Bookworm wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:32 pm
I wonder why we haven't dropped an autonomous Lunar Rover. It'd be easier, and more useful at this point.
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:16 pm

And plenty of new image links in this Reddit Thread.

TL;DR: It's a space snowman!
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Typeminer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:26 am

TazManiac wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:01 am
I'm not so sure; Antarctica is still at the bottom of an ocean of air, it's hard to live there for the staff, and I wonder how much of the time would the sky be obscured by clouds?

If we are going to go big, lets set up something on the Moon's Far Side.

You still have to ship in stuff, but if given a deep enough hidy-hole to work from you could likely block enough cosmic rays, etc, and have a really dark sky to work with.
China just landed a rover on the moon's far side. It's not there for astronomy, but still cool.

First problem that occurs to me with astronomy in Antarctica is the auroras. They can be pretty bright.
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Re: New Horizons for New Years!

Post by Atomic » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:48 pm

And now for your 3D glasses viewing convenience:

Image

Source (with more GIFfy goodness!)
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